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Mat Coch writes:
Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel was a surprise victim of Saturday's knock-out qualifying when the Red Bull driver set the eleventh fastest time. The German, who had set the ninth fastest time in the only dry practice of the weekend, was denied by strong performances from Paul di Resta in the Force India and both Sauber drivers.
However, Vettel was pulling no punches after the session, admitting that while he was satisfied with his performance he was disappointed with the less than impressive result.
"I was pretty happy with my lap, it was clean, but it just wasn't quick enough unfortunately," he said.
"I missed the last part of qualifying by such a little amount and that's a shame, but that's racing. It's frustrating, but it could be the other way around and you are in and somebody else is out. "
Rubbing salt in to the wounds was the fact Vettel was fined 10,000 euro's for making a practice start in the pit lane during final practice. The team, realising Vettel's faux pas reported it to the stewards, limiting any repercussions.
The FIA released a statement regarding the incident stating:
"In mitigation of the penalty is the fact that the team and driver immediately realised their error and reported it to the race director.
"The team also reported that the 'lollypop man' was performing this role for the first time.
It capped off a disappointing day for Red Bull, with Mark Webber setting the seventh fastest time before a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change demoted him to twelfth - ironically promoting his teammate to tenth.
Announced by the FIA on Friday, Webber expected the penalty after a tough Hungarian Grand Prix.
"I had a holiday on that," admitted the Australian. "That was enough of a penalty; I lost points with that in Budapest.
"We got the car to the end," he continued, "but the gearbox was too damaged to run here so we had to put a fresh one in.
"We got the car to the end," he said. "But the gearbox was too damaged to run here so we had to put a fresh one in.
Despite the setback Webber remains optimistic for his chances heading in to the race. "Strategy and understanding the tyres will be important," he said. "There's still a long way to go."
Vettel remains similarly focussed as he looks to close the gap on championship leader Fernando Alonso. "There are no points for qualifying," the 25-year-old said. "We've seen in the last races that our car is pretty good in the race, so we will see what we can do."
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